Friday, April 24, 2009

Looking through the lens

This week had Earth Day right in the middle of it. The day turned out to be a pretty one and kids planted seeds and bushes and tested the water in the creek.

Self-portraits are under way - an annual art project. 3rd graders had math outside in the sun today.

Sean Fagan arrived on Tuesday and Shakespeare in its many variations has begun. From Othello to "All the world's a stage" the creative process of turning language into drama comes alive. In 8 days Sean takes the seed of an idea with each class and grows it into a full performance with everyone taking part. The excitement is palpable.

And that's not all! 2-3's are building a Mohican wigwam and a Dutch dwelling replete with artifacts. K-1's are putting together a safari and an African market place. 4'5's are following Lewis and Clark, 6-7's are planning a week of bridge building while 8th graders are planning their trip to Philadelphia. Thesis work is full swing. Pre K is exploring how they have grown.

Down the office corridor Auction planning is running wild; in the hallways the book fair is capturing imaginations; the alumni edition of our on-line newsletter is being published today; camp registrations are flowing in; swallows are nesting in the bird boxes.

The kaleidescope is ever changing!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring ahead

Smelling spring flowers is the order of the day. And planning for Shakespeare week - the 2-3's are a-buzz with ideas. Dance Dance Revolution is a hit in 4-5 P.E. What concentration! That tells you something. (That kids love to dance?)

Sixth graders were just as rapt today putting seeds into vinegar-tinted water to mimic acid rain. And you could have heard a pin drop as James described Lincoln's assassination in 8th grade social studies. He asked what would happen if something tragic like that happened to our president in today's world? I realized that I was the only one in the room who remembers JFK's assassination. Although I guess communication was comparatively as different in the 1860's to the 1960's as to today.

I have started "twittering" about the school - you can see it on this blog or become a follower. Twitter is fascinating. It is much like poetry in the best ones - not just about someone's lunch. (Although that can be interesting too...) I leave it to you to explore it and decide for yourself...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The week before break

End of the week - beautiful spring day.

On Tuesday Spanish 1 hosted a lunch - they cooked and served us at a beautiful table. There were Mexican dishes and other exotic fare - and they spoke to us in Spanish!

2-3's tested propeller powered boats in water tubs.

On Wednesday middle schoolers traveled to Cooperstown to the Farmers Museum. They came back with smiles wide and a variety artifacts they had crafted - iron hooks, lip balm, reverse glass painting. Unanimous thumbs up.

This morning was sunny and warmer - the whole school gathered outside the front entry for a huge photo. It is for the auction - and that's all I'll say...

No one minded an afternoon fire drill. Yellow buses and a parade of cars have all pulled away. Now it's quiet.

April break begins.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Learning that sticks

Buddies might research African animals together or build and fly kites during wind week in Pre K. They take buddy hikes. They form a bond that is pretty special.

This week 2-3's and their middle school buddies re-imagined our landscape. "It is 1500. Europeans have not yet settled our lands. Native people live here. Your task: find a spot on the Parker grounds to sketch. When you come back watercolor a picture of what you and your buddy imagine the landscape looked like in 1500."

2-3's had a busy week. They were experimenting with boats in science class. First foil, then bark and moss (or whatever they thought might work.) Now clay. The creek comes in handy for testing. For getting muddy, too!